Government calls for aid to avoid disaster among refugees

The authorities in Congo-Brazzaville have warned of a humanitarian catastrophe in the south-west of the country, where large numbers of people have taken refuge in forests to escape fighting. The head of the health ministry's humanitarian section, Ernest Stephane Mouitaya, said the international community had to intervene as soon as possible to relieve the situation, BBC reported on Friday. Mouitaya also said that refugees from DRC, including 2,000 government soldiers and 6,000 civilians, had been dispatched to several localities in the Likuoala region and had 'pressing needs' beyond the means of the government, which needed emergency aid "to avoid a humanitarian disaster", news agencies reported.

'Our aim is to ensure that these people return to their country, but we will do so in respect of international standards and conventions,' Mouitaya added.